Google My Business is an excellent tool for establishing and tracking your company’s online presence. Included in Google My Business are tools to help you manage customer reviews. However, in order to get the most out of the review tools, you need to know (1) how to find your reviews, (2) how to encourage customers to share reviews, and (3) how to be alerted when you do receive reviews.
1. How to Find Your Reviews
In order to both see and manage your Google My Business reviews, you need to pay a visit to this site: business.google.com. Login, and once you are in, you can see your own My Business page. This allows you to, among other things, see and respond to the feedback your clients have provided through Google reviews.
You’ll find a link to Reviews on the left-hand side of the dashboard (it has a star icon beside it). This will open up a dedicated review page that allows you to write and edit constructive responses. Note that this also allows you to select one of three basic views: All, Replied (that would be, of course, reviews you have already replied to), and Haven’t Replied (which would be the reviews that you haven’t posted a reply to yet).
If you are still new to Google My Business or just don’t have very many reviews yet, you will want to start requesting reviews from your customers. With more and more people depending on the internet for reviews of everything from cell phone plans to home repair services, it is important that your company have reviews from real customers posted on Google.
2. How to Encourage Customers to Share Reviews
Trying to get great reviews can be tricky. Google My Business web pages do not offer a way to directly request a review from a customer. There is a workaround, however. To get a URL to promote to your clients, start by searching for your company from within Google maps (maps.google.com).
This reason you need to go to Google maps is simple: at the bottom of your company listing in Google maps, there is a link to post a review of your company. Once you are on your company’s map page, copy that URL. Then open up a URL shortening service such as bitly so that you can shorten that URL. With bitly, just paste in your URL and click on Shorten. You will receive a very short URL that you can copy and paste to your company’s website, emails, invoices, email signatures, business cards, and other materials. This makes it much easier for your customers to respond with feedback without having to search for your business on Google. The easier you make it for people to provide reviews, the more reviews that will begin to come in.
3. How to Be Alerted When You Do Receive Reviews
Once you are actively promoting reviews, you need to know when reviews are posted so that you can respond to them. It is important to quickly acknowledge reviews, both the good ones and the bad ones. Poor reviews especially need attention, and your company should try to make contact with the disgruntled customer and, if possible, take the discussion offline. However, you want others looking through your reviews to see that when a customer is dissatisfied, your business will reach out to fix the situation – even when the review is unfair. It is very important that a negative review does not sit out on the internet with no response.
Fortunately, there is a way to receive an alert as soon as a review is posted. To receive alerts about reviews, start by returning to the Google My Business homepage where you should still be logged in. Look toward the bottom of the right-hand side where it says Settings (there will be a gear icon next to it). Click on Settings, which will open the Email Notifications page. About halfway down, you will see an option that says Customer reviews. If you click the checkbox on the right-hand side of this option, you will receive email alerts when a customer posts a review. That is all you need to do to be alerted when a customer posts a review.
Your company’s reputation online is very important, and it is critical that you receive feedback in the way of reviews. Google My Business has the tools you need to manage those reviews, including tracking them, responding to them, and being alerted when they are posted online. There isn’t a direct way to request reviews from your customers, but smart use of a link in the Google Maps listing of your business, combined with a URL shortening service, can help you gather those reviews you need.